For my first review I’ve decided to go for a book that means a lot to me. This is Savannah Brown’s first poetry collection, and the content is even better than the cover.
If you’re not familiar with Savannah, she’s a lovely Youtuber who started out in the US and then moved to London to study. Her first videos were really cute and sort of whimsical (and I admit that I used to have a huge crush on her), but now they’re more serious and actually extremely interesting. She talks about creativity, writing, mental health, and lots of other subjects that make for an exciting discussion. (She’s also, like, the prettiest person in the world. But that’s not really the point.) You can check out her lovely channel here.
About a year ago I was wasting my time on the internet on a particularly boring day, and I hadn’t written anything in years, when I suddenly saw that she had uploaded a poetry video. She read her poem Real Estate out loud, and something just clicked. I immediately fell in love with her work, and if before I had admired her as a Youtuber, I now did as a writer as well. That poem is to this day my favourite in the entire world, and I don’t think anything will ever replace it. After watching that video I felt inspired for the first time in an eternity, and I actually wrote. I have since written over twenty poems, so technically I owe all of my work to her. I would highly recommend you check out her poetry videos, espacially the Real Estate one – they’re incredible and give you a taste of what her writing is like. She’s also surprisingly good at reading her poetry, which most writers seem to suck at. Here‘s a playlist of all her poetry videos, in case you’re interested.
But now let’s talk about the book! It’s self-published and includes 28 poems (I hope my count is correct) on a total of 65 pages. The way I would describe her work is like a small, friendly ghost. A little creepy but still comforting in a way. There is something about her writing that makes me feel very cozy and warm – but maybe that’s just because I love her so much. I don’t really know how to categorise the main topics of this book; there’s a little bit of everything, from mental health to identity, from haunted houses to love, from beauty to small animals living in holes. The back of the book says an eclectic selection of pieces ranging from observations on life, love, death (sometimes love and death), and moles – I think that describes it fairly well.
Now, I usually don’t trust self-published books (got some … interesting experiences with those), but for this one I made an exception, because, you know, it’s Savannah. And the best thing about all of this is that my copy of the book is signed – with my name! Savannah announced a while ago that you could preorder her book, and everyone who did that would get a personally signed copy. I don’t preorder books frequently (in fact, this was a first for me), but I just couldn’t miss out on this opportunity. LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY.
(Please ignore my eccentric name.)
The book is full of beautiful illustrations by Ed Stockham that match the tone of the poems really well. For example, look at the stunning contents page (picture from Savannah’s website).
What I love to do with poetry collections is to mark my favourites with tabs. The thing about this book is that pretty much half of it is marked, because I loved every second of it. I do have some favourites thugh: A Poem just for Me, Real Estate (obviously), Head Space, After, Too Quiet and I do not like the Feeling. I’d say about half of the poems in the book are ones she’d already read out loud before publishing it, and the other half is new stuff that no one had ever read or heard before. I personally think that’s a lovely balance – you have old favourites that make the collection feel very homely, and you’ve got fresh ones that get you excited about her work all over again.
I am looking forward to anything Savannah might publish, and will definitely be waiting in line to preorder a signed copy if she were to offer that little bonus again. For the time being, I hope I got you interested in this lovely collection. If you’ve read it I would love to know what you think.
‘Till next time and happy reading!